Saturday, October 6, 2012

5 things you should never say to anyone, ever.

Has anyone else noticed the sudden trend of articles popping up recently?

7 things you should never say to someone with cancer.
Top 20 things you should never say to a new mum.

Okay that last title was made up, but you get my drift.

I think the thing that grinds my gears about these articles is that all the things listed are generally kind and supportive comments. Sure, maybe they are a little cliché, but well-meaning all the same. I recently read one that said you should never ask someone who is ill what you can do to help them.

What? Why!? Isn’t that just being friendly? Isn’t it being a good friend?

It went on to say that this question is boring and that the ill person has probably been asked the same thing by everyone they know. Well excuse me for not being able to think of an original way to offer my help to sick friends and family members. Next time I’ll send them a card by carrier pigeon that simply says ‘What can I do you for, biatch?’

I sat there for awhile after reading this particular ‘Things You Should Never Say’ article, and I was confused. Have I been doing it wrong? Can it be true that nice, well meaning things said out of kindness or to make conversation are actually rude? How did I miss this memo? With this in mind I started wondering how my own day to day comments and questions to those around me are taken. Am I accidentally causing offense to everyone I come across in a misguided attempt to be friendly?

With that in mind I analysed my small talk strategies and created a list of 5 things you should never say to anyone, ever. Now you can always avoid unintentionally insulting people with you attempts at being polite. You’re welcome.

5 – You look really cute today!
Why you shouldn’t say it: Telling someone they look cute TODAY suggests that they didn’t look cute yesterday or the day before. In fact, it implies they never usually look cute ever.

4 – Is that a new shirt/necklace/pair of shoes etc?
Why you shouldn’t say it: Asking people if they are wearing a new item just runs the risk of embarrassing yourself and the other party. There is nothing worse than mistaking something for new when in fact it is an old item or ‘pre-loved’ as it’s now often referred to. If you get it wrong not only are you admitting you don’t take enough notice of the clothes of those around you, you are also suggesting the other person is a cheapskate who doesn’t update their wardrobe in a timely manner. Steer clear of this one!

3 – Isn’t the weather great today!?
Why you shouldn’t say it: They say you should never discuss politics or religion. The same goes for the weather. Weather preference is a deeply personal thing. Just because you enjoy warm weather doesn’t mean the person you are conversing with does. You open yourself up to a debate about which kind of weather is superior and things could get heated (and not from the sun). Avoid this topic at all costs.

2 – Do you have the time?
Why you shouldn’t say it: In this day and age not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time. You clearly don’t or you wouldn’t be asking. You should be sympathising with people who may be in the same boat as you, not rubbing it in their face.

1 – Have a great weekend!
Why you shouldn’t say it: It’s a terrible reminder of the long stretch of hours ahead without you. This can be especially upsetting to work colleagues who live for the days they get to wake up and come to work to see your face. A weekend can be a terrifying time for those who rely on a 9-5 routine to cement their sense of self worth.

Actually on second thoughts maybe it’s just best to not say anything to anyone. At least then you definitely can’t offend them. Unless they are offended by mutes, and if that’s the case then they are discriminatory assholes so who cares?

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